Author Topic: Going it alone?  (Read 2011 times)

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Going it alone?
« on: May 27, 2013, 03:06:05 PM »
Is it possible, logistically, to be able to manage this surgery out of town on my own?
I am scheduled for surgery in June with Dr. Gross.  I live about 5 hours away.  My initial plan was, to have my fiance with me, drive to S.C., have the surgery, stay at the Residence inn and then he would drive back.  Unfortunately, I don't think he will be able to accompany me to S.C. and I just don't have anyone I know who has the flexibility to go with me.  No problem driving there and then I would presume no problem getting from the hospital to the hotel.  I don't see a problem tending to myself in the hotel but I was wondering if I would be able to drive home.  It's my right hip that is being resurfaced.  Your input would be appreciated.
Dr Gross, Right hip, 3/21/18


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Re: Going it alone?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2013, 03:11:43 PM »
I doubt you will be able to drive for a couple of weeks.  :(
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Rbhr 54mm head 60mm cup 12/02/15 Ronan Treacy ROH Birmingham England

Marco Polo

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Re: Going it alone?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2013, 03:19:50 PM »

You will not be able to drive yourself home immediately after surgery.  Given the help you get from the airlines, you could fly instead.  Is that an option for you?
Marco, RBHR, Della Valle, 3/29/13


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Re: Going it alone?
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2013, 03:25:49 PM »
Yes- it's a possibility.  I would have to rent a car though and then how would i get it back to the airport after surgery?  Otherwise I guess I could just take a cab -   Also - there are no direct flights from Columbia to Jacksonville, Fl meaning I would have a layover in Atlanta which even on a good day is a nightmare.    It may be my only option though.  thanks
Dr Gross, Right hip, 3/21/18

Pat Walter

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Re: Going it alone?
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2013, 09:06:06 PM »
Welcome to Hip Talk.  You won't be able to drive that quickly plus you might still be on pain meds.  You can get around and be by yourself, but driving is pretty much out. Don't forget if you drive without the doctors permission, your insurance won't pay for any accidents.  Make sure you are released for driving.

As mentioned, maybe try flying.  Even with flying, you will want to wait a few days.  I flew from Ohio to Belgium and had to wait 9 days before flying back.  I don't think you will wait than long being closer to home.

If you fly, you will want wheelchair access.  It is tough walking large airports a few days after surgery. 

Check with Lee and see when you will be able to drive.  Definitely not a few days after surgery.

Good Luck and stay in touch.

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Re: Going it alone?
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2013, 10:03:15 PM »
I actually drove from mid Virginia to the PA/W Virginia line after my hip resurfacing.  At the time Lee told me that as long as I was not on pain meds I could do it.  Maybe they have changed their restrictions, I was fine doing it but we're all different. 

I had my surgery done on Wednesday and we left to come back home on Saturday morning, I took some pain meds before we left but I stayed off of them for the rest of the trip.

I will say I paid for it the next day, I swelled up a lot, it took me a day and a half to get the swelling down. 

One thing though that you might want to consider, who will help you in and out of your vehicle?  I for sure needed help.... this is my edit, when I logged off I thought about my reply and I remembered my daughter and wife helped me in and out.

« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 10:09:05 PM by obxpelican »
RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb


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Re: Going it alone?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2013, 10:27:38 PM »
Claudia - make sure at the Residence Inn you get the handicap suite at the end of the hall - they have one other one that is adjacent to the elevator motor room and you don't want that as the noise will keep you up all night
Oxypelican and Pat raise an excellent point on getting in and out of a car - it is extremely painful as your leg just feels like a log after surgery for quite a few weeks. I cannot imagine doing it alone and driving 5 hours but what do I know - I'm male and the weaker sex!
Would have to definitely pack depends for that distance as stopping for a restroom break, getting in and out of the car by yourself more than once would be just awful. I would recommend cabs to/from the surgery centre to hotel and to the airport if you have to go alone - otherwise bump your surgery date if you cannot find a volunteer.
You would have to brake with your left foot which is also a dangerous motion and not instinctive.
Bilateral 99.9% Canadian,.1% USA re; BHRP (right) -3/21/13 Biomet uncemented - Dr. Gross / Lee Webb Columbia South Carolina
BHRP (left) standard uncemented Dr Emil Schemitsch sept 25/17
London Ontario Canada
Damn Osteoarthritis!!

John C

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Re: Going it alone?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2013, 10:42:35 PM »
Going it alone is not going to be easy. You will definitely not be able to drive, especially since it is your right leg. Getting to the hotel, and from there to the airport could be done easily by taxi, so I would not plan on renting a car. However, you will be on crutches, so you will not be able to carry any luggage. When I flew home from Columbia (I flew home on the fifth day with great help from my wife), I also had a layover in Atlanta, but that part was no problem at all. Just make sure that the airline has a wheelchair and attendant waiting for you at the gate, and they will get you from one gate to the other without any problem. Once again, this does not account for any baggage other than what you could carry on your lap in the wheelchair, since the attendant will have both hands busy with the wheelchair. In less you make other arrangements, you will likely be carrying the ice machine that they give you to take home, and there is no way that you will be able to carry that even a few feet without help.
I would look into whether the airline in Columbia can arrange for a wheelchair attendant to meet you at the taxi. If the hotel can get your bag to and from the taxi, and the airline can arrange  a wheelchair from the taxi through each succeeding terminal, and you don't take anything bigger than what you could carry on your lap while in a wheelchair, you might be able to pull it off.
Please run any ideas by either Lee or Nancy, since I am sure that they have advised on this many times before.
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18


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Re: Going it alone?
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2013, 07:46:48 AM »
I am having my surgery in July, so I can't speak from personal surgical experience. BUT, I am a RN with 28 years of ICU and surgical nursing experience --- I think going it alone would be very difficult and personally unsafe -- pain tolerance alone could sideline you. Several days post op you are still recovering from anesthesia and the side effects of it, never mind a 2 hour surgery recovery. I can't imagine trying to drive with pressure of your right leg -- your reflexes are going to be off/slow.

The only option I would suggest is to hire a driver and a car service to take you home. They would pick you up at the hotel, handle your luggage and the driver might even be able to assist you in and out of the car for a restroom break or two. I am sure it would be expensive, but at least you could rest and ice your leg while traveling (and take pain meds!) :)

I wish you all the best. This is a tough situation. I know that I am waiting anxiously to get my right hip resurfaced and I'd be pretty upset if I had to postpone at this time. Please keep us posted on how it all pans out for you.

Right resurfacing, Dr. Gross, 7/11/13
Left resurfacing, Dr. Gross, 12/11/13


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Re: Going it alone?
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2013, 09:27:21 AM »
Hi Claudia,

As everyone has stated, I don't believe driving yourself home is an option.

When I had surgery with Dr. Gross a year ago I did have invaluable help, my brother who is a nurse. I am not sure i would want to do it without help, but it is probably possible.

As for logistics. There is a private shuttle (has Columbia in the name) that will take you from Charlotte Airport to Columbia and back, door to door. I think $50 each way. Your hotel in Columbia will be right by the hospital, but unfortunately not Dr. Gross's office. You may want to rent a car for a day or so before your surgery, as the cost of cabs (especially to Midlands Ortho - if that is still where you meet him) coupled with the inconvenience may make renting the better option. But rentals are much cheaper in Columbia than at the Charlotte airport. Car rental places in Columbia are not conveniently located to the hotel/hospital, unfortunately, so you will have to cab it back and forth from them. Just drop off the car the night before surgery, as you will be walking to the hospital in the morning and won't need it after surgery. Make sure you return it by closing time, though. I think it is only 6:00.

RHR April 2012.
LHR March 2014.

Both Biomet Magnum/Recap 54/48, by Dr. Thomas Gross.


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Re: Going it alone?
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2013, 01:08:52 PM »
Hey Claudia,

hope your spirits are better. Whatever happened with your hematologist and surgeon in terms of deciding about your factor V def. It sounds like you got the ok. That it awesome!! i figured it wouldnt be a big deal.

I am sorry you have to deal with being alone. I hate that for you but you seem like you have overcome alot of adversity in the past so you will do great. I tend to agree with the others, driving is not an option. You have to account for the anesthesia wearing off then you are on pain meds so from a liability issue they dont want you alone taking pain meds and falling or tripping and possibly hitting your head especially being on blood thinners.

I think doing the rest by yourself takes up the degree of difficulty quite a bit but i think it is doable.Like everyone else alluded to you need to have everything lined up especially to carry all your stuff. Either  way go in with a positive attitude and you will do great.

good luck.


Lauren Lee

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Re: Going it alone?
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2013, 12:16:51 AM »
Claudia, We haven't heard from you...hope you are mending strong!
RBHR on June 17, 2013



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